Cerbo’s “Trees for Troops” is a huge success

Parsippany-Troy Hills Volunteer Fire Department District 6 Member Michael Sanford loading trees on the FedEx truck

PARSIPPANY — The holiday season can be difficult for military families. For the second year, Cerbo’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, participated in “Trees for Troops.”

Local Parsippany Girl Scouts helped tag the trees and volunteers then loaded the trees onto a FedEx truck, which will be transported to military bases in the South for distribution.

Joining the group of volunteers was Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano, Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi and Representative Mikie Sherrill.

Tyler Cerbo and Mayor Michael Soriano

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano said “Volunteerism and support for our troops has always been a tradition in Parsippany  and I am grateful to the Cerbo‘s Family, Fire District 6,  and the Girl Scouts and all of the volunteers who came out today to support Trees for Troops.”

“The Cerbo family is graciously supporting the “Trees for Troops” effort again this year, and I’m delighted to be joining them as volunteers prepare freshly cut Christmas trees for delivery to a base in Texas this year,” Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce said.

Cerbo’s Parsippany Greenhouses, a family-owned business since 1913, also operates Cerbo’s Christmas Tree Farm in Branchville and Cerbo’s Hampton Nursery in Newton.

“Last year we had our first year of involvement with “Trees for Troops.” The organization helps facilitate the donation of Christmas trees to military service members across the country in partnership with businesses like ours. We receive donations for trees from people or businesses and then prepare them from our farm to be sent out of our garden center in Parsippany. Last year, we were able to donate over 110 trees, This year we are shipping out over 300” said Tyler Cerbo, who manages sales and marketing for the family business.

Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany President Frank Cahill said “We made an announcement at our Thursday morning breakfast meeting seeking volunteers, and I was proud to see a number of our members showed up to volunteer. Our members alway volunteer to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life.”

This year, the  trees are destined for Fort Sam Houston, which is part of the Joint Base San Antonio in Texas and under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force, 502nd Air Base Wing, Air Education and Training Command.

The trees were harvested this past week by the Cerbo family and employees, as well as some veterans and volunteers with the Paterson-based Harvest Outreach Ministry International, a non-denominational and multicultural ministry serving Northern New Jersey area and beyond.

By December 13, Trees for Troops will deliver thousands of trees to more than 74 US bases in all branches of the military. It has already sent about 200 trees overseas.

Trees for Troops began in 2005 and has delivered more than 225,000 Christmas trees to military families in the US and to troops stationed overseas. The act may seem small, but for those serving, it can mean everything.

Tree farms in about 20 states have donated trees to brighten a military family’s holidays. Many individuals have donated to Trees for Troops as well, getting the organization to its grand total of 225,319 free trees over the past 15 years. All those trees are then delivered to the bases with the help of in-kind work from FedEx, whose volunteers coordinate all deliveries.

Cerbo’s Greenhouse and Garden Center is Parsippany’s oldest business – even older than the town itself! The original deed was completed on a piece of parchment paper and consisted of 26 acres much of which is now under Route 80.